The annual ASU International Winter Intensive is one of the official intensive seminars approved for testing black belt candidates nidan and higher, and one of the only opportunities to test in front of Saotome Sensei. Any candidate that has met all promotion requirements and has the permission of his or her instructor can sign up for testing at the Winter Intensive by doing the following:

  1. Make sure you are adequately prepared in all requirements of your test, especially the weapons kata and demonstration of kihon technique. This is not a good venue for marginal tests, but we think it is absolutely the best venue to show your spirit, your training, and your commitment to Aikido before the people who lead ASU.
  2. Register for Winter Intensive.
  3. Send a notification to the seminar organizers – – notifying us of your intent to test. If you will not have a designated weapons kata partner with you, please let us know in advance; however, it will ultimately be your own responsibility to find a qualified kata partner.
  4. Have your instructor or sponsor complete, with your assistance, a Candidate Bio sheet, and email a print-quality copy to the seminar organizers before you attend.  A downloadable template for the recommended Candidate Bio form is available here.
  5. Complete all Application for Yudansha Promotion forms, and bring them with you (with payment) on the day of your test. Instructions for completing the forms are available in the ASU Yudansha Exam Handbook.  The Application forms are available from this website, in the sidebar to the left.


We take great effort to make sure that our candidates receive the best possible support and environment for showing their abilities and readiness for promotion!  The Winter Intensive is a fantastic opportunity to test in front of your peers, in front of Saotome Sensei and ASU’s most senior instructors, and alongside other candidates that are going through exactly the same preparation as yourself.  Past candidates have come away with fantastic memories and new friendships with the other people who tested, even though they may not have ever met or trained together before.